Ishbel Smith founded Heart In Mouth in 2017 by accident rather than design. This is our story so far...
Dragged to elocution lessons in order to "cure" a Glasweigan accent by her Fife born mother, Ishbel became entranced with the power of the spoken word at an early age. Throughout school and university, she revelled in the world of competitive debating, representing Edinburgh University at two World Debating Championships and training and judging school pupils in debates. She also was a regular volunteer for Radio Lollipop and her local Citizens Advice Bureau.
It was no surprise to anyone that Ishbel pursued a career as a court lawyer, acting in a wide array of cases which covered everything from race track design, forest eating rabbits to tobacco litigation. But after 20 years of commercial practice, she left law to return to university and undertake more volunteering work, spending six years as vice-chair of Mary's Meals and four as chair of her local community cafe.
It was only when her children were little that Ishbel was formally diagnosed with life-long hearing loss which went a long way to explain her passion for helping others be heard. She knows the problems that can be caused when communication is not inclusive – when people are not listened to, when communities are not heard and when conversations become contentious. She has seen first-hand the difference it can make to individuals, organisations and communities when messages that matter are shared powerfully, effectively and confidently.
Heart In Mouth was born from her realisation that the communications skills she developed as a debater, court lawyer, writer, trainer and strategic adviser could be shared with others to allow them to connect effectively with their audiences and advocate for their cause. She wanted to bring the tools she had honed in the commercial world into the third sector in which she was now fully immersed.
Heart In Mouth works with people of all different ages, experiences and places within the society. We thrive on learning by listening to others and use that insight to help folk connect and learn. We know everyone’s experiences need to be heard – be they individuals with powerful life stories or paid leaders of organisations with personal insight to be shared.
We take a trauma-informed approach to our work, taking particular pride in seeing so many who have been told that they are voiceless stepping up to tell their stories in a knowing, individual and impactful way.
We love enabling others to discover the power of putting their hearts into their mouths with confidence and authenticity.
Why not reach out and tell us your story today?